I had only Sinhala medium SSC but acted like a medical doctor to save my dad’s life in an urgent emergency, would you believe me?
Posted on October 14th, 2014

Dr Hector Perera           London

I cannot say that I do not think or my mind goes to the past and think of my dear parents, friends and relatives as well. I know the speed of light but the mind goes to the past much faster than what the scientists can evaluate. A rocket to escape the gravity, it travels at 25, 000 miles per hour but what is the speed of mind? Just yesterday someone was speaking about future people would populate in Mars, that’s quite possible with the advanced technology.

According a web site called buddhas.net, it says the mind is faster than the speed of light. Light travels at a speed of over 300,000 kilo meters per second. How long the sunlight takes to travel from sun to the earth? The short answer is that it takes an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the Sun to the Earth. This can slightly vary because sometimes the sun goes on an elliptical path. In England the clocks are adjusted twice a year according to season. In the UK the clocks go forward 1 hour at 1am on the last Sunday in March, and back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. The period when the clocks are 1 hour ahead is called British Summer Time (BST). There’s more daylight in the evenings and less in the mornings (sometimes called Daylight Saving Time). When the clocks go back, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Theoretically, nothing is faster than light. According to the Buddha, however, the speed of mind is faster than the speed of light. In a split of second, the mind can travel and reach up to three thousands of galaxies of worlds. Not only that the mind is fast and far-reaching, its karmic effect are extensive and profound. Always busy is the mind which runs into the past, the present, the future, and back and forth. It grasps at anything it comes across. The mind is constantly loaded with creations made of images, odours, tastes, sounds, touch contacts and discriminating thoughts. As a result, we are trapped in a fast-moving, non-stop, elusive and karmic mental stream. It hinders us from seeing our original nature. The web site further states, that is why we need to control and purify our mind.

Why I studied in Sinhala

I mentioned in a recent article that I studied at Kandy Dharmaraja College and left after passing SSC [senior school certificate]. When my dad came to know that I did Sinhala medium exam, he wasn’t a happy man. To begin with I was doing English medium science but I had to leave science because that time the Physics teacher was very strict. Then went to do English medium arts subjects but the Sinhala only bill forced myself and many students to Sinhala medium studies. Then already I studied nearly one year in English medium subjects such as history and civics. We were told that from the nest year all studies would be in Sinhala medium so we had no choice at all but to go for the Sinhala medium subjects. To begin with the terms such as democracy in Sinhala was absolutely difficult but took time to get used to.

He prefers to be in charge

My dad Dr T B Perera, worked as a doctor at Colombo, Matale, Watupitiwala, Polgahawela and many more general hospitals but he prefers smaller rural hospitals where he would like to be in charge. The last place he worked was somewhere not too far from Polonnnaruwa. That was a small hospital at Attanakadawela with two wards and an out patients department. That time I was just spending time at home after passing my SSC in Sinhala medium. He took medication for type 2 diabetics and sometimes I gave him the insulin injections as he taught to do it safely.

 A strange evening

One evening my uncle and aunt from Horagolla visited him then he talked to them and treated them well. Just an hour or later when they left our place my dad asked me get a cab to go to uncle’s place as he felt unwell. I am sure the time was after 7 or 8 pm. He asked to pack a bag or two but not forgot to get his private practice medicine bag.

We had to go pass a place called Habarana where we stopped to put a Panduru” to a roadside temple. The driver said there could be wild elephants as well on the road at that time.

Suddenly he became ill

We came to Horagolla the uncle gave us the front room in their old house where no one lived at that time. They lived just about 500 yards in the other new house. I cannot remember every minute detail such as had meals or not. I think I gave his insulin injection. There was a kerosene cooker to make tea and coffee to boil water. The front room had a kerosene operated lamp called patromax that gave very bright light. After a while he said that he didn’t feel well and asked me to let uncle know that he is not well and asked me to get a doctor from Watupitiwala hospital. He asked me to put a blanket over him as he felt very cold and to get the lamp nearer to keep him warm as he felt very cold. I looked at his watch and said, Daddy, it’s quite late in the night, not easy to get a doctor at this time” then I held his arm and checked his pulses. I noticed it is much below the average rate and said to him, Your pulses are low and I cannot leave you like that to get a doctor”. I am not sure what made me to say, Let me give you those injections that you usually give to difficult patients”.

I checked his pulses

Then I boiled some water and sterilised the needles and the syringe and got ready. I took one injection into the syringe and injected slowly then prepared the other one as well. I know he told that one of them has to be over a certain limit so I could remember that quite well. Then injected that as well then, held his arm to check the pulses. After the two injections I didn’t know what to do next but held his arm and checked the pulses. To my surprises the pulse rate has increased to around 70 and over then in the meantime he was shouting, Hector get this blanket out, open the window and get the petromax away, I feel so warm”. Honestly I didn’t know what to do next and did exactly what he asked to do. Then all of a sudden he started to cry and sob like a baby and said, Hector I nearly passed away that is why I asked to fetch a doctor. I never knew you could do this and save my life. I am sorry that I couldn’t teach you anymore”. It is possible he must have thought about my education as well at that moment.  I think the time was past mid night, may be around 2or 3 am. I told him, Don’t worry daddy” then I also went to sleep.

I couldn’t even open my eyes

Early morning my dad was shouting, Hector open the door”. I was so tired, I couldn’t even open my eyes than opening the door. When I opened the door my mum and the elder sister were there on the door step. I was wondering how did they knew we have come here. That night they also went all the way to that place we lived [Attanakadawela hospital] then someone told we left the place. Then they came all the way to us. I couldn’t believe my eyes to see the mum and the elder sister at the doorstep and with them came aunty and uncle as well.

I gave him his own medicine

This is one of the memories sometimes come to my mind. I didn’t have any qualifications in medicine or not even done science at that time. All what I did was to remember well what my dad said to me at home. Sometimes when he treated a difficult patient, he comes home and described to me then explained what he did to save the life. He was so sure about his combinations of those miraculous injections and reassured that even a dying person would talk before anything could happen. I think I made it true to my dad himself and that was a very memorable incidence. I could remember those words and eventually I saved my dad’s life even when I had no qualifications or much experience in giving injections. I was thinking, if I went to fetch a doctor at that time, what would have happened? To give that his injections was my own accord, was my own decision but what made me to do that, I still cannot get a proper answer. Sometimes I think that was a very courageous positive decision. I always listened to my dad but at that moment, I acted on my own accord and that saved my dad’s life. I am the one who decided not to go out to get a doctor in the middle of the night. When I asked him should I give those injections, he agreed that really encouraged me to go ahead to save his life.

I got an instant priceless reward

My instant priceless reward was to save my dad’s life when he was gravely ill. He confessed that he nearly passed away but I saved his life using his own medicine. I can remember he regretted for me doing Sinhala medium arts subjects and must have been worried about my studies. Much later I did science in English medium at a private college at Colombo then later had a chance to come over to England for further studies. I am very grateful to my mum who spend and encouraged in my studies. When I came to England my younger sister who lives in Paris gave me the expenses for the University, I am very grateful to her as well.  Now I am not a medical doctor but have a doctorate in chemistry. Your comments are welcomed [email protected]

5 Responses to “I had only Sinhala medium SSC but acted like a medical doctor to save my dad’s life in an urgent emergency, would you believe me?”

  1. Nanda Says:

    Thank you Hector.
    Very emotional and extremely interesting story. It shows the innovative ability human beings when the think beyond the box. I will come back to comment later.
    When Ananda_USA comes on line this will be filled by cut and paste rathe than comments.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    DR. HECTOR !!
    Yes, it is a very emotional and interesting story. You had a special innate instinct which comes into play at moments like that. Split Decision. When you speak of Habarana, I remember passing alone at around 3.00am in the morning. I was warned that there would be plenty of Elephants on the way, and was warned not to stop anywhere if someone looks stranded and wanting a lift, as there are gangs waiting to rob vehicles, particularly at YAKA WANGUVA. I saw no Elephants, and there was no human being in sight. My lucky moments.

    I had a friend who had Chemistry Honours, who played Rugger with us at CR&FC, but yet he preferred to get into Police Uniform.

  3. Wickrama Says:

    Dear Dr. Perera, “mind” is a non-physical thing and therefore you cannot say that it “travels” faster than the speed of light, and “mind” you, there are some minds which “travel” slowly – or not at all!!

  4. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    I was thinking of a word when I wrote the above comment, but it never came to my mind. The word is Premonition. That is what kept you back, without leaving your father.

  5. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    A little more detail.
    ” Premonition ” means, an ” Advance Warning ” or a “Presentiment ” usually offset by ” Intution ”
    ” Intution ” is the capacity of knowing, without the use of Rational Processes.

    In Sinhalese they say ” mage hithata kivwa.

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